New rail apprenticeship launched by Network Rail

Network Rail has announced a new apprenticeship scheme aimed at meeting the evolving needs of the rail industry.  

Network Rail, with its partners, is providing apprentices with hands-on experience on major infrastructure projects across the UK. This includes the Northern Powerhouse Rail and Digital Railway programs. 

PlanBEE Rail apprenticeship: all aboard the career express! 

Known as PlanBEE Rail, this tailormade two-year apprenticeship program focuses on preparing a fresh generation of versatile project managers. With a shortage of skilled project managers in the industry, this initiative is crucial for filling the gap. 

What is the PlanBEE Rail apprenticeship like? 

The program will be based in key locations like York, Doncaster, Huddersfield, and Leeds. It offers successful candidates a unique opportunity to earn while they learn: they’ll start with a salary of £22,000 per year. Apprentices will spend one day a week attending lectures, tutorials, and field visits while working towards a level 4 associate project manager qualification. This will hone their knowledge of the rail sector and project management skills. 

Full steam ahead for apprentices with rail industry placements  

During the two years, apprentices will undertake four six-month placements with various employers in the rail industry. This includes big names like Balfour Beatty, Network Rail, Transpennine Express, Volker Rail, and Morgan Sindall. 

Tim Craddock, HR director at Network Rail Eastern Region, expressed enthusiasm about the programme. He said, “PlanBEE Rail is a fabulous opportunity to start a dynamic career in rail – it is not just a standard apprenticeship programme. It’s a strategic initiative to bring talent into the rail industry by working collaboratively with our supply chain partners.”

The track has been laid by the PlanBEE apprenticeship 

Drawing inspiration from the successful PlanBEE apprenticeship in the built environment sector, launched in 2016 by Gateshead College and Ryder, PlanBEE Rail aims to replicate its achievements. The original PlanBEE program boasts a remarkable track record, with 98% of graduates securing permanent jobs in the industry. 

Following its success in the UK, PlanBEE has expanded to regions like the North East, Manchester, and London, and even internationally in Canada through a partnership with the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Vancouver. This expansion underscores the program’s effectiveness in nurturing talent and addressing industry needs on a global scale. 

Image: Canva 
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